Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Barefoot Water Ski School

Tuesday, May 7th, 2013

The World Barefoot Center is the #1 Barefoot Ski School to learn how to barefoot water ski for the first time.  The World Barefoot Center has the experience in their staff on and off the water.  Visit the website and follow us on Facebook to learn more about us.  We promote safety, fun and learning the right progressions from the start.  No matter what level of skier you are you’ll be able to learn how to barefoot water ski.  We have taught people that have never water skied before.

If you want more information or have questions please call us at anytime! (863)-877-0039  We offer great summer rates when staying longer than one week.

We also offer traveling clinics from our professionals.  Clinics allow families, friends and clubs to hire us to come to their personal site.  We use your boat and teach from beginners to all levels at your location.  http://www.worldbarefootcenter.com/clinics.html

World Barefoot Center / Barefoot Water Ski School

Ski School Rates:  http://www.worldbarefootcenter.com/rates.html

My 1st Cover on the Water Skier Magazine

Thursday, May 2nd, 2013

I had no idea I was going to be on the cover.  The photographer, Zenon Bilas had a few different idea’s for me one day during a shoot.  He asked me if I could ski a few feet off the swim platform of an inboard boat?  I had barefoot skied there before but only on two feet.  He thought we could get a sweet angle while standing on the back storage of the boat while looking down on me.  I was up for the challenge and off we went.

I quickly realized I had only a few troffs to stand in while the frothy white water came roaring out from the bottom of the boat.  I had a hard time balancing on one foot.  I got knocked off my foot several times while crashing into the turbulent water.  If there’s one place I hate falling it’s directly behind the boat because the water feels like concrete.  I was able to pull off a front toe hold for a few short seconds and Zenon Bilas landed a sweet shot.

Sometimes we have to try new things to get results and in this case we did it.  I’d like to thank Zenon for being so creative and The Water Skier magazine for putting me on the cover when I needed it most in my career.  This cover rejuvenated me and kept me in the sport to want to achieve more!

Keith St Onge

1st WaterSkier cover for Keith St.Onge

By: Keith St. Onge

Keith St.Onge’s 2nd WaterSkier Magazine Cover

Thursday, April 25th, 2013

After years and years of falling short of my dream to win the World Overall Title, it finally happened in 2006.  I trained harder than ever before and it all paid off.  After returning to Winter Haven, Florida, I received a call from photographer Lynn Novakovski.  “I’d like to come out and get a cover shot.” he said.  I couldn’t wait for the opportunity, and Lynn came out the next day.

I tried to remember the covers from other athletes from years back.  I never saw or at least did not remember anybody ever wearing medals around their neck.  I thought this would be a great idea, so I brought my hardware along.

My first run was quite sketchy because my medals were swinging everywhere in the wind.  My friend Char had a hair band in the boat and suggested I tighten up the medals on my neck.  The trick worked as the medals were much tighter and did not flap in the wind.  Of course I was taking a chance if I fell, but I wanted to get a unique cover.

Keith Stonge Waterskier magazine cover shot

1st Waterskier Cover shot for Keith St. Onge after winning the 2006 World Overall Title

By: Keith St.Onge


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Best Barefoot Ski School, Biggest Barefoot Ski School & Most Affordable Barefoot Ski School

Sunday, April 21st, 2013

Saying we are the Best Barefoot Ski School may be a little biased, but here are a few reasons we could be considered to be the best:

The best Barefoot Water Skiers in the World own and work at the WBC: David Small and Keith St.Onge have won the last six world titles, Ashleigh Stebbeings is the #1 female barefoot water skier in the world and Ben Groen is ranked #4 in the world.  There are some athletes that should only be athletes and not coaches or instructors but these four individuals have the common sense to be both.  Our instructors will not only provide a great service but they are safety conscious and provide a fun atmosphere in the boat while learning.

We have the best equipment and boats.  We use all Barefoot International products (Boom, Tower, Tower Extension), provide shoe skis and ropes & handles by US Gear.  Our boats are a little older, but that is entirely due to the wear and tear these boats go through on a daily basis.  The Sanger outboards have a flat wake, no chin spray off the side and are powered by brand new Evinrude engines.

The World Barefoot Center is the Largest Barefoot Ski School in the history of the sport.  This is a fact because:

We have four boats, fully equipped.
We have five top-level instructors that have titles as professionals, top four on the ranking list, hold world records, and years of experience.
We have four lakes which we use and can accommodate any wind direction.
We have a fully-stocked pro shop.
Our instructors are available seven days a week.
We pulled 22 skiers in one day, which is a record as far as we have ever heard.

Most Affordable prices:
Our clients can simply do their homework and Google our competitors prices.  The World Barefoot Center prices are the most reasonable, affordable, and fair-priced compared to any other barefoot ski school.

Rates


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Barefoot Water Skiing clinic in Mexico with Keith St.Onge!!

Friday, March 22nd, 2013

Barefooting in Mexico!

I’ve traveled around the world and back but Mexico was the one place I have yet to visit.  Actually, South America is still on the list as well. After speaking with Juan Carlos and Gustavo at the world championships in Waco, TX I expressed much interest in coming to their homeland. I contacted Juan Carlos a month afterwards and he said, “Let’s do it…buy a plane ticket and that will confirm everything.” It didn’t take me long. I bought a ticket that night.

Juan Carlos, his wife Edith & I eating Tacos in Mexico City

I arrived in Mexico on March 1st and Juan Carlos was there to pick me up. We went to his house and his wife Edith joined us for a traditional Mexican lunch, which is at 3pm in Mexico. Took me a little while to get used to that!   I love Tex-Mex in the states and I was hoping for something similar. We had taco’s with shaved meat, pineapple, onions and fresh squeezed lime over the top. They call limes, Limón’s down here and they come by the dozen. Fresh “Limón’s” are squeezed over every meal served. I loved that as it brought all the flavors out for the taste buds to go crazy. Lucky I like hot and spicy food because almost every meal was hot but not to the point of sweating thank goodness.

View of the Volcano off my balcony! Gorgeous!!!!

We drove South two hours to Tequesquitengo where his lake house was. The lake sat in a deep whole and I could see walls outlining the perimeter of the lake, which only meant one thing. “Bathtub” effects that I new would be horrible. Juan Carlos quickly confirmed we would not be skiing there and we would drive twenty minutes to Coatetelco where he had a private boat launch on a lake that provided great conditions.

When I woke up the next morning I had a spectacular view of the landscape over the lake. A volcano rose high into the panoramic view. We left for Coatetelco and I was able to reunite with an old time friend, Alejandro Alvarez. Alejandra came to my ski school nine years prior while my good friend Adin Daneker was down. We became the three amigos for a little over a week and had a blast. It was great to see him ski again and we enjoyed reminiscing about the past.

My good friend Alejandro Alvarez

Skiing in Mexico

The site was exactly like our lakes we use at the World Barefoot Center in Winter Haven, FL. The shoreline had reeds on the side of the lake to absorb the rollers and many great shorelines that protected us from the wind. Out of nine days of skiing we hardly experienced any wind at all. Mountains surrounded us and the lake remained glassy throughout the days.

The restaurant on the lake

We launched the boat late that morning and ate lunch “at 3pm” at the local restaurant called Las Vegas. It was more like a bungalow with fire being their source of heat. I was introduced to tortillas everyday for our appetizer, not like the chips and salsa we experience in the states. Shrimp was recommend and it was great but after four days of shrimp I got brave and tried the fish. First I asked for the grilled fish but it has so many bones to pick through it was an hour long process. Next I asked for fried fish, which made it much easier to eat but it took forty five minutes to eat. I then kept it simple and ordered the fried fillet of fish. That was the ticket!

Fried fish was the number one choice be the locals so I tried it!

1st Barefoot day in Mexico! Full boat!

Saturday and Sunday the restaurant was jammed packed. Most people from the city come out to eat in the country as there were at minimum twelve restaurants on the lake. I love it there because they had live mariachi bands playing daily. Even though I don’t understand a lick of Spanish I loved the up beat style of the music. Local kids would come around and sell us peanuts, seeds and anything else they had to try to make a few pesos. Often we bought or gave them something. I gave a few kids an American dollar, which is pretty useless out in the country but may be cool to show around. I also gave them signed posters, brought them in the boat and skied in front of the restaurant to give them all a show.

We brought the kids in the boat and I gave the local kids a show one afternoon

Wicca, Juan Carlos’s dog loved to grab the handle and drag while being pulled over the jump ramp!
Wicca Jumping

We took an afternoon to visit the worlds largest under ground cave in length and height.

Beautiful cave 45min. from Taxco, Mexico. You can see how large the cave is by looking at the people in the lower right hand corner.

Following that we visited the city of Taxco, which is known for mining silver. There were small shops, a gorgeous church and great views as the city is built on a mountainside that reminded me of Greece, minus the ocean. The funniest thing about Taxco was the hundreds of white VW bugs that covered the streets as taxicabs.

Having lunch over looking a beautiful church & Taxco

Greece without the ocean

The next morning we woke up a little earlier and visited old ruins that were built hundreds of years ago. Fascinating history!  They played a game with a small stone similar to basketball. The playing field was built on a slanted course with two wooden wheels on opposite sides each having a hole in it. The winner was sacrificed to the Gods. Juan Carlos says that is why Mexico doesn’t have an superb athletes, of course he was just joking and I got a good laugh.

Temples over looking the lake we barefoot skied on

Ancient games played like basketball. The ring/hoop seems to be in the middle of this arena as the other fields had the ring/hoop on either side up one level.

Temple grounds

Gustavo and Juan Carlos cleaning their position up and learning 1ft. – 1 hands before moving onto front toe holds.

Gustavo working his 1ft. - 1hand

Gus doing his first toe hold on shoes

Juan Carlos working the 1ft. - 1 hand

Juan Carlos cleaning up his front toe hold

A few of the locals.

Local boys on their horses

Laura learning how to barefoot water ski on the shoe skis first.

Laura trying it for the first time

Everyday glass.

I love the iPhone Panorama option on my phone!

Carlos Garcia came out to see what we were up to. Carlos is one of Mexico’s legends in three event skiing and held Mexico’s jump record for twenty plus years. He was also known for his barefoot water skiing skills. His claim to fame was a trick he perfected that always got the crowd on their feet. You can find video’s on YouTube of him doing this. He would fall onto his back purposely looking as though he had fallen and then pull himself around and stand back up. Remember, he had an old life jacket on with three layers of jean shorts was all. Watching the video is quite amazing.

Mexico's Legend Carlos Garcia & Keith St.Onge

It was a pleasure to meet Carlos as I love the history of our sport. He invited me to do a demonstration at his well-known restaurant on the water. He was hosting a private party for the Secretary of Tourism and I was honored to do it. Catch was, it would be at 9pm. We arrived and I was able to meet many other water ski historians like Muchalo. He was the one that promoted and taught people how to ski in Mexico since nearly the beginning. He has a ski school and was even the one who taught Juan Carlos how to water ski for the first time.

First time up backwards for Chappa

Chappa made me laugh because he was screaming the whole time. He had a right too because it was his first time up backwards! Congrats buddy!

Local goats and crops being brought back by horse.

Letting the goats cross the road before continuing

Corn stocks being brought into town

I have never seen so many horses and donkeys in the street in my life. Definitely cool to experience and see. The locals are so resourceful they don’t let anything go to waist. I saw horses carrying wood, peanuts, corn, sugar cane, three people at a time etc… I even witnessed locals using fifteen foot bamboo poles with a hook on the end to retrieve fruits and nuts from massive trees on the side of the road. My favorite by far though…buying coco’s. Spanish for a coconut. $1.00 or 13 Pesos for a real coconut that they would cut a hole into and serve with a straw. Fresh coconut water that you could later cut open and eat!

My new good friends Juan Carlos and Gustavo!! Love these guys!

My new good friends Juan Carlos on the left and Gustavo on the right. Thank you both so much for your hospitality!

Gustavo’s daughter Mariana, who learned so much and plans on going to the next World Championship.   She has so much passion and achieved front toe holds on the shoe skis and back one foots on the shoe skis.

Mariana looking clean on her feet!

Bart: This 22 year old learned so much, so fast. Most people would hardly believe me but here it is. He barefoot skied one time on the boom before we met. He learned on foots on his feet, front toe holds on shoe skis, tumble turns, back deep on his feet on his third attempt, back one foots on shoes, back one foot one hand on shoes, both basic and reverse back toe holds on shoes done on his first attempt. Barefooting behind the boat on his feet on his 1st attempt, tumbles behind the boat, crossing the wake on shoes behind the boat, one foots on shoes behind the boat. Remember this is all done in six relatively short sets, which makes a day and a half of skiing. So, why not try a back to front on the boom while we’re at it right? Also remember, we were using the HeadZone helmets exclusively, which makes for faster and easier learning.
“Ok, do as I say and we’ll do a back to front.” I said to Bart has he was skiing on shoe skis. “Knees and feet together, weight on the right foot, handle into the small of your back, eyes and head up as high as possible. Now, just hold your position, turn to your left and let go.” He came to the front beautifully but caught a tip and fell. “Let’s try it again!” I said. He was more than ready to try it again! Next one he nailed along with several more to follow. Nearly flawless on the last one so I said, “Front to back.” Go up and down for your up weight and turn as you come up. Finally, something he couldn’t do nor come close to doing on his first attempt but absolutely sensational skiing and talent was witnessed those few days. We hope he continues to stay with it so he can also compete in the next world championships!

I hope to see this young man at the next World Championships!

I was treated like a king, ate like a king and will remember this trip for a lifetime! I can’t wait to go back actually! Juan Carlos and I have talked about doing a yearly clinic in Mexico with the option of making it open to whoever wants to come. Obviously it will be limited to a first come, first served basis. If we can spark enough interest this trip would be a package deal. Two days of skiing, a day to tour around and another two days of skiing. Simply driving to the ski site and eating there is an experience all in it’s own. From there you can go and do as you please. Acapulco is only two hours away and we plan on scouting the waterways in Acapulco for a future clinic. Please contact the WBC or I to let us know if you’d be interested in Barefoot Water Skiing in Mexico. A trip of a lifetime!

Thank you so much to Juan Carlos, Laura, Gustavo, Mariana, Claudia, Lulu, Edith, Chappa and everyone else who made my trip so memorable. I didn’t only gain great experiences but lifelong friends as well.  I look forward to going back in the near future!

Keith St.Onge


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Caitlyn Rowland: Barefooting is a Family Thing

Friday, March 22nd, 2013

My parents grew up together in the summers at a camping ground called PineLake. My dad was a huge lake bum and worked for the site doing anything from cleaning boats, to cleaning the seaweed off the shore to pumping gas. In return, the owners would pull him for a ski. He quickly got my mom into the water skiing scene after they got engaged at 19 years old.

Naturally, I grew up in the boat in the summers. They both loved slalom skiing, then one day my dad came across barefoot water skiing… after some convincing, and a ski clinic at Mable Lake later, both of them fell in love with the sport.

My dad competed in the 2004 world in South Africa, then the following year, both of my parents as well as myself competed in the 2006 worlds in Seattle Washington. It was my first worlds ever and it was right after I turned 12 years old.  I thought it was an outstanding experience and so cool that we were all able to support each other and represent team Canada!

I truly think it is a sport that is full of such amazing individuals and has allowed our family to bond like most families never could.

After graduating high school, both of them encouraged me to take a year off before jumping right back into school. So I worked for 10 months and was able to put enough money away to move down to Florida and live the dream at the World Barefoot Center. My skiing improved HUGE. They had me doing all turns for the first time in my life. PROPERLY (by stepping over) and even taught me how to jump inverted! (that being said, I still have a long way to go on that… but the fact that they were able to push me to break that traditional barrier was so exciting for me and definitely one of the biggest highlights in my skiing carrier.

Ariana Koehler: My Coach Since Day One

Sunday, March 10th, 2013

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Every time before I ski, there is something I have a habit of doing. Some people may think they know what this is and say, “You always have to tie your hair back because it gets pulled out after every fall.” Although this statement is true, I do not plan on chopping my hair off any time soon and the habit I am speaking of goes further beyond this tedious task. This habit is something not many people know of and something that no one can physically observe.

No matter where I am, in practice or at a tournament, I always repeat the words of Philippians 4:13 in my head. This Bible verse states, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” This has been one of my life verses for as long as I can remember and it has been a constant motivator for me as I have continued on with the sport of barefooting. People run to a lot of different things for the strength to move on and accomplish goals that they have put in place. For me, I cling to these words; knowing that with enough drive, motivation, dedication, and passion, I can achieve anything that I set my mind to. It is not alone or with only these qualities that I can defeat the challenges that I face, but with the power of my God who is bigger than any obstacle that stands in my way. I have worked with many different coaches and skied with a number of people throughout my years of barefooting and competing, but there is only one coach who has been there since day one. He has seen every struggle and every success, every frustrating battle and every fear I have ever faced. He has helped me achieve every dream that I once had and He will continue to do so as I continue to press on.

I feel that everyone in this sport can relate to the level of frustration that barefooting brings. There are times when it is hard to keep moving forward and it is in these times when it would be easy to call it quits and give up. It is my God who gives me clarity in these times, and reminds me why I have kept going all of these years. I love the sport of barefooting more than anything and I desire to continue on knowing that all things are possible with faith and trust in the Father. I never want to settle for being “good enough” when I know that I can accomplish so much more. Philippians 4:13 has told me that my God has believed in me from day one, it is now my job to believe in myself and trust in Him.

~Ariana Koehler

WaterSki Magazine Features Keith St. Onge and David Small

Saturday, March 9th, 2013

Rivals on the water

Have you ever wondered how the World Barefoot Center was formed, especially with two rivals coming together?

Keith St. Onge and David Small are featured in WaterSki magazine:

WaterSki Magazine: Rivals on the Water, Buddies in Business

Buddies in business

Featured video: David Small

Featured video: Keith St. Onge

Stefan Wimmer: How I Started Barefooting

Tuesday, March 5th, 2013

My dad was also a barefooter, so when I was a little feller, I was always with him and my older brother in the boat. We had a lot of fun and I enjoyed to be with my family on the boat. When I was six years old, I started to play around on the boom.

I skied whenever I desired to ski. Sometimes I wanted to learn something new and sometimes I just played around.

In this time I did also a lot of other sports like soccer, skateboarding, trampolining and some more. I liked to do so many different sports and barefooting was always a part of these sports.

When I was 9 years old, I skied my first tournament in Italy (Albarella) and it was amazing for me. I was a little bit nervous to miss the start, but I made it so I was really happy.

Since then, I skied every year a view competitions, but just for fun and barefooting was like a big hobby for me.

My brother was always an idol for me because he skied very good and I wanted to ski like he did. He trained hard and was focused on barefooting. In 2003, he won the junior slalom world championship and I was so proud of him.

From this poin, barefooting got more and more interesting for me. With 15 years, I did competitions in The Netherlands, Germany, Italy… and I love to travel around and do everywhere in the world Barefoot competitions.

I stopped playing soccer and from this time on, my focus was on barefooting.

When I watched at competitions professional barefooters, I wanted to be like them and trained more and more. This was my incentive.

Now I am proud to be part of the World Barefoot Center Team were I can ski and train with the best barefooters all over the world.

Keep on footing!!

New Wetsuits, Board Shorts and More in the Pro Shop

Saturday, December 29th, 2012

The World Barefoot Center Pro Shop is stocked and ready for all your footin’ needs!  Check out our new line of Ten-80 board shorts for men and women: WBC Board Shorts.  We’ve also added a colorful line of beanies to our hat collection: Stuff for the head. Check out Small’z modeling skills:

Our new line of 2013 wetsuits produced by Eagle are more colorful than ever:

We also carry US Gear handles, the official handles of the World Barefoot Championship. Take a look at the handles in action: